New York on pace for legal cannabis sales
Rebekah F. Ward reports in the Times Union that since former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned, the state has been moving at a similar pace to begin recreational cannabis sales. The New York legislature voted for legalizing cannabis, and Cuomo signed the measure, a year ago. But then the Cuomo administration did little to build the state infrastructure to begin retail sales. Cuomo never appointed regulators to begin the process, which Gov. Kathy Hochul did after she took over last August. "They are taking time to be intentional," said Imani Dawson, an activist who pushed for legalization. "States that move really quickly tend to overlook things that they have to then go back and fix in hindsight, or they are dealing with unintended consequences." Arizona only took three months from legalization to sales, while Maine took four years. There, Gov.Paul LePage opposed legalization. "Gov. LePage vetoed a lot of things, because he didn't want it to happen," said Heather Trela, a marijuana policy researcher at the SUNY Rockefeller Institute of Government. "And then the pandemic hit, and that certainly delayed their initial plan." Officials have predicted that retail sales will begin in 2023 in New York. Read more about this story in the Times Union.